I came across a most glorious stained-glass window in an urban Anglican church north of Jugiong. It was a pleasure to observe such masterful artwork. A parishioner of the church kindly offered me a history of the window.
I've edited the history so as to ensure anonymity of the church. I offer the edited history to allow readers to observe that some incredible amount of thought has gone into the design of the window.
The XYZ Window History
The stained glass and hand etched leadlight window, which is housed in a light box, has been part of the fabric our [CHURCH_NAME] since the church completion in 1966.
The window is by a significant glass artist, Mr. [REDACTED] and etcher, Mr. [REDACTED] and is a representation of Jesus with children and the words “suffer little Children to come unto me”.
While the window might not be to everyone’s taste, it is a reflection of it’s time and features Jesus as the central figure holding an infant; a standing schoolgirl in a school uniform which reflects local schools holding a bible; a standing Asian child and an African child who is kneeling before Jesus with an outstretched arm handing Him flowers, (Lily of the field, Luke 12:27-32). Jesus looks directly at the African child and has his arm around the Asian child.
This is in no way a racist depiction as has been suggested. That comment is Political Correctness gone to extremes. The design actually represents the areas of [XYZ] Ministry past and present. Permission and approval for the design was secured from [A_HOUSE_IN] London, [XYZ] World Headquarters and [DIOCESE_NAME] before the commission was undertaken.
[XYZ] is a world wide organisation, Christ centred and prayer-based, of over four million members involved in all aspects of supporting marriage and family life with the living Gospel and has, since 1876, been active in UK, Africa, Asia, North Asia, India, North America, South American and Australian & Pacific. [XYZ]’s focus has been on the needs of children particularly in AIDs care & concern, literacy and education.
Mrs. [REDACTED], wife of the Rector in 1966, when the new church of [CHURCH_NAME] was built and President of [XYZ] [SUBURB] & [SUBURB] initiated the idea of a stained glass window which was commissioned by funds raised by local [XYZ] Members between the years of 1960 and 1965 before the [CHURCH_NAME] was built so that the window could be installed as a gift to the new church on its completion.
[XYZ] [SUBURB] Members later paid for the moving of the [XYZ] Window in 1999 and funded the building of the new cabinet and light box to enable it to moved to its current position on the western wall to the front of the church which was considered a way of balancing the light and colour of the churches’ second stain glass window, the [CHURCH_NAME] Window, installed on the eastern wall / window of the church.
The brass plaques on The [XYZ] window refer to [XYZ] and Mrs. [REDACTED] who was a longtime member of [XYZ] [SUBURB] and outstanding educator responsible for the setting up of Primary curriculums and the Children’s Television Council as well as holding positions on Sydney, Australian and International Boards and Executives. She was active in [XYZ] and as a Thanksgiving before her death her family contributed funds towards the cost of the new functioning light box for the [XYZ] window in 1999.
The [CHURCH_NAME] stained glass window, on the eastern wall, was the gift of the family of Mrs. [REDACTED] another woman of faith who with insights gained from life of service, was actively involved with [XYZ] in [SUBURB] and as a member serving on Sydney, Australian and International Boards. She lived the Titus model and was concerned her whole life with family wellbeing in modern times.
Since 1935 [XYZ] has been active in [SUBURB], with faithful, prayerful women committed to Jesus Christ and serving where God has placed them.
This history is a brief and true report of the funding, design and installation of the [XYZ] Window and can be checked in the Parish Council and Diocesan Minutes.